Why we're here

We are taking a stand against horse slaughter returning to the US and are striving to stop the transportation of horses to other countries for slaughter. Some of us are working in those other countries as well.

We are taking this stance as Pagans and Heathens, at a time when it seems some have decided that eating slaughtered horse meat in ritual is somehow cool, edgy and "ancestral." Therefore we want to show that that minority does not represent all of the Pagan and Heathen communities. Many of us worship Horse Deities, many of us are horse people who may see our horses as sacred charges who we care for to honor these Deities. Not by killing but by striving to give them good lives.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Lost a year of my life!

The title has multiple meanings for me.  Obviously, I didn't sleep for the past year, I got a lot done in a lot of areas.  One was not with my horses. Oh, they're cared for, but I spent less time with them since last May than I would have liked.  I spent the summer taking care of a sick and crippled Greyhound who we hoped would be able to recover at least some mobility ..until it was clear he couldn't.  Lots of riding time that didn't happen then. Got out to play with the horses from time to time, but nothing extensive. Fortunately, the horses have each other from company...and the goat, of course.  Then a few months after losing him, our female Greyhound developed bone cancer and I spent the winter spoiling and fussing over her until we had to say goodbye to her as well. So I lost most of a year of serious horse time spoiling dogs.

And writing, but not so much here. I  have even been published in a few places and helped start a magazine (which includes a lovely article on Epona by my co-blogger here, Ceffyl).

But there's also that sudden "loss of a year of my life" feeling.  You get it a lot with horses.

Yesterday my husband Aaron came into the house from the barn and said that Misty was lying on her side and refusing to get up. He had been worried when he saw her and went to check and she refused to budge. I head for the door, see her lying out there and, worse, Saorsa dancing around her as if she's trying to get her up. Usually when one horse is just napping, the other horse watches over them and doesn't jump around and poke them with their nose.  I pulled boots and jacket on, headed out, I can see them as I approach the run-in shed and go in through the back and I know we're in for a long day, which might end up real bad. I walk through the shed going over the scenario of getting her up, giving her 'bute or Banamine, walking her, listening to the belly....calling the vet who is too damn far away....

I walk out into the paddock ....and Misty's up.

She shakes off some of the excess snow and heads for the hay. Saorsa immediately drops and rolls in the exact spot Misty had been in, then gets up bucking .....Misty prances around a bit and heads back to the hay.   She's absolutely fine. 

We stare at her, check her belly (she's eating but....I can't help myself).  I go in, as it's colder than I'm dressed for. I'm shaking.  It took a long time to dissipate the adrenaline.  To even really convince myself that there was no danger.  Indeed, through the day we keep checking on her. Even though, you know, eating is a damn good sign everything is fine. Thank you, Macha! 

I don't have to tell you horse owners how not fine it \could have been. This is something we've been through a lot.  Given the hard winter we've had and that three of our horses are in their 20s, we've been watching for this and kind of surprised not to have one colic.  Yesterday, the temperatures were dropping from having a warm, wet snowstorm. The situation was perfect for colic.

While he has just over a decade of experience with horses, Aaron can usually tell a horse lying down to nap and one that might be in trouble. And certainly when a horse is refusing to get up and the other horse is acting weird, it probably means trouble.  At the very least she might have been stuck due to the deep snow, but he's been through enough colic episodes, Saoradh had real issues with these winter ups and downs, to know the possibilities. That Saorsa seemed to be trying to get her up was very disturbing. 

Of course, horses have their reasons. She may have just wanted to sleep and be left alone. But frankly, I think she was just "hogging the spot" that Saorsa obviously wanted to roll in.  There was a whole paddock of fresh snow to roll in, but it seemed Saorsa wanted THAT spot.  She wasn't trying to get Misty up because she was worried about her, as horses sometimes will a sick herdmate, but because, dammit! she wanted to roll THERE! NOW! 

I am sharing this as a reminder of how unpredictable things can be for horse owners, how a quiet day can go bad suddenly ....and in this case go back to being quiet again.  That horses are a great responsibility, that crisis hits fast and hard...or not.   Thank you, Macha! 

We do this because they are special. We fight for them because they are special.  We honor Macha (others honor other Horse Deities) in these ways.  We are blessed by Her. 

This morning I had a bad bit of being reminded that some get confused and think that eating horses is the way to honor a Horse Goddess.  And so I need to remember.....thank you, Macha, for letting me serve You by caring for Your sacred creatures. I will keep fighting for them, this I vow! 

This morning, Saorsa lying down, Misty guarding